Rating: 2.5 (of 5)
To a certain extent, oversimplifying how characters deal with certain problems is a practical issue necessary for anime series (especially fantasy series which work on an epic scale) to function. They simply do not have time to deal with all the minutiae of how grand processes and big story movements work (excepting stories like Ascendance of a Bookworm, where the minutiae is the whole point); otherwise they just get bogged down in the little details and become boring. Because of this, Realist Hero has always gotten a certain amount of leeway from me on how it accomplishes some of its reforms. This episode, however, is where the series finally stretches practical credibility beyond the breaking point. That’s why I am rating this episode lower than most.
To be sure, the goal here was a noble and worthy one, especially after the Machiavellian tactics Kazuya had been recently resorting to on other fronts: clean up the slums and reform them so that the poor in general (and not just slaves) have more opportunity. And as the sojourn of Kazuya’s party into the slums shows, he has certainly accomplished that. Things have been cleaned up, decrepit buildings have been torn down and replaced with small but free housing, locals have been put in charge of keeping the slums clean, and programs have been instituted to promote healthy habits. In fact, the whole situation is practically an ideal. We are not given any sense of time frame here, but the implications is that all of this was accomplished within a relatively short period of time.
And that’s a big part of why none of this is even slightly credible. If cleaning up the slums was this easy or could be done this quickly, it would have been done by all rulers that care a bit about their populations. Also, where did the financing for this grand plan come from, especially in light of having to deal with absorbing Amidonia? Even if the benefit is ultimately a big one, it had to be a very expensive plan to institute. At least the story covers the “buy-in” part of it by used a three-eyed race who can see pathogens to convince people of the existence of germs and bacteria, but even that comes off as and all-too-convenient work-around. Yes, there is a refugee camp that is causing Kazuya some consternation, but even the problems there are coming from the outside.
In fact, the only part that was at all realistic was his progression on combat skills. Yes, he has been doing some training, but even if it’s for months, he could hardly be realistically expected to be competent at swordplay yet, especially since he cannot be spending so much time at it. Here he looks like the classic beginner, so proud of accomplishing one basic move that he is unprepared for follow-up attacks. At least this is the one thing whether others can put him in his place on (his scolding from Liscia was well-deserved), and that scene saved the episode from being a total letdown. Still, with the continued shakiness on its visual quality control, this series has some work to do to shine again.